Business is increasingly being made in the digital space and this has led to the need for an umbrella of laws to be updated to cover this new reality alongside traditional marketplaces.
Malta introduced ICT Law in the 2004 National ICT Strategy, which later evolved into the National Information & Communication Strategy Plan in 2010. This plan cemented Malta’s reputation as the European Union’s ‘Smart Island’.
ICT Law covers all regulations concerning Information and Communication Technology. It is designed to protect both businesses and consumers and covers everything from e-Commerce to internet communications, online advertising and data protection to traditional forms of communication such as television.
What does Malta’s Communications Sector Include?
Communications under Maltese law includes traditional methods such as fixed line telephony as well as emerging digital technologies, including cloud-based software and applications, software, Voice Over Internet communications, data hosting as well as the manufacturing of hardware.
What Malta ICT Law Covers
With the Introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses must abide by very stringent regulations to ensure the protection of clients and their data.
Malta ICT Law also protects businesses themselves by safeguarding their intellectual property rights by providing a proper framework which allows them to retain their own created content and ensure that it is not stolen by other parties.
The law also covers all licensing and regulatory issues including what type of businesses and what activities may be carried out in the digital and traditional communication sectors.
Additionally, Malta ICT Law regulates television broadcasting, advertising, content and relevant defamation and libel laws, as well as copyright, trademark, privacy and freedom of expression issues on all communication mediums. Another aspect covered by the law is e-banking licences.
Malta ICT also regulates the writing and application of software as well as the development of any hardware, including the way data is stored and protected.
ICT Law in Malta also provides legislation to regulate licencing and agreements on web and data hosting on physical or cloud-based servers. It also provides a legal framework which regulates website development, creation and maintenance as well as purchasing and registering domain names and domain names disputes.
Malta ICT Law also covers harmful and illegal content on the internet- this includes illegal divulsion of trade secrets, child pornography and hate speech amongst other matters. It also covers computer-related fraud, instances of hacking, security infringements, encryption and piracy.